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Project Reference: ITP/001/19LP
Project Title: Smart Transparent Navigation Technology
Hosting Institution: LSCM R&D Centre (LSCM)
Abstract: Traditionally, visually impaired people (VI) rely on the guiding tiles to provide them cue in walking to the direction they want. Yet, they still need to memorize the direction, or the map, of the location in order to successfully reach the destination.

In 2014, LSCM has implemented a Public Sector Trial Scheme (PSTS) project (ITT/010/14LP) which aimed at deploying the lightweight reader as a tool to provide navigation guidance to VI. The reader works with the RFID tags installed on the ground to detect the location and walking direction, and provide immediate vocal instruction to the VI.

In 2016, a collaborative research project with HKSB (ITP/001/16LI) was carried out to further develop a complete system to provide VI navigation. A mobile app provides navigation guidance message to VI was developed. A cloud platform is built to store the geolocation information for VI.

While the above projects achieved successful results, different opinion has been received from various stake holders regarding the use of guiding tiles as a major guiding tool for VI. These include:
- The protruding guiding tile pattern may cause other users, e.g. elderly, to fall
- The guiding tiles may easily be damaged due to heavy object (e.g. courier trolley) passing over
- The guiding tile pattern is hard to fit in the overall interior design

The idea of guiding VI without guiding tiles is thus raised by various parties.In this seed project, we will study the possibility to provide guidance to VI without the use of guiding tiles.
Project Coordinator: Mr Martin Chun-Wai Lai
Approved Funding Amount: HK$2.79M
Project Period: 01 March 2019 - 31 May 2020
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